Antwerp Police Help Get Funds Back from Tech support “scam”

Back in January Sue Knapp of Antwerp had called the phone number on her Mediacom bill because her phone service was not working. The Mediacom representative had told Sue her modem had been hacked and been used to make “thousands” of phone calls. Instead of getting a helpful representative, she got someone who gave her Sparx Crew LLC phone number, who is not registered as a subcontractor of Mediacom. Why would a Mediacom tech support give this number out to fix their problem? Who knows the underlying reason.

The company was SPARX CREW LLC out of Bentonville, Arkansas. It was found this company may have been scamming numerous people by using internal tech support people of internet and telecoms to send business to Sparx Crew LLC. 

The Sparx Crew person logged into Sue’s computer, though it was not her computer that was having problems. The person installed software that would potentially allow them access in the future. The person then instructed Ms. Knapp that she needed to pay by check $1349.00 and gave a Bentonville, AK address to were it must be sent. The Sparx Crew employee called back nearly 2 hours later to ensure that Sue had sent the check, which she had.

Sue, realizing that this may have been a scam, contacted Jarrison Steiner, her computer maintenance person, at the West Bend News. He investigated the computer and removed the software that Sparx Crew had installed and then he fixed the problem with the Mediacom phone modem that the company had never fixed. 

Sue called Sparx back and explained she did not believe this was legitimate. After she told them the problem was not with the computer and the phone had not been fixed, they reluctantly agreed to return payment and then hung up on her. Sue did not hear anything nor received the refund.

Sue’s son, Mike Knapp, made phone calls to Mediacom to find out what Mediacom employee gave her the information to call a third party. He was not able to find out much. He then encouraged her to file a report with George Clemens, Antwerp Police Chief, which she promptly did.

George and Victoria Clemens launched the investigation and the report was written in issue 5 of the West Bend News published in late January of 2019. George began to get leads as calls came in from an executive at Mediacom and a police detective in Bentonville, Arkansas named Mark Jordan.

Captain Victoria Clemens worked with detective Mark Jordan and found that this has happened before with other telcos. Jordan found the company and as, understood, a condition of them not being prosecuted they had to pay back those who they had deceived and write apology letters to them.

Sue, just this past week, received her $1349.00 back in the form of a check, which she is now waiting to clear!

Chief Clemens announced his surprise to the West Bend News and was very happy with the outcome as this does not happen very often! This may not be an official “scam” as Sue called them based upon instructions from a Mediacom employee. As a reminder you must always keep an eye out for your family and loved ones to make sure they are not being taken advantage of or “fixing” something that may not be a problem.

In the regular report, starting with April 22, the police received a call of loud music coming from a house on North Main Street. The officer spoke to the resident and found it was the children living there.

April 22, a resident of Stone Street received a call from someone claiming to be a US Marshall asking for a social security number and banking information. The resident did provide his SSN, but did not give banking information. It was found to be another fraud.

On April 22, the police received a complaint of open burning near Canal and Main Streets. The office investigated and found the homeowner and explained that only firewood could be burnt and illegal to burn anything else in a ring or pit.

On April 22, while doing door checks at businesses an officer found an unlocked door at Grant’s reception hall. The building was secured. 

On April 23, a resident reported that her neighbor had mowed their yard the day before. She believed that a rock had been thrown from the mower and broke her window. It was investigated  and found that the window had been broken from the mowing and the neighbor agreed to pay for the damage. 

On April 23, while doing business door checks, an officer found an unlocked door at FSC&E. The building was secured. 

On April 23, a vehicle was stopped near Canal and Main. One of the passenger fled on foot. The suspect was located on Main Street near the railroad tracks. Four members of the Antwerp Police department and deputies from the sheriff’s office and the Ohio State Patrol participated in the search and located the suspect. At the time of the arrest he had suspected meth on him. He was arrested and charged.

On April 24, a local insurance company called and requested a theft report from December 2018 and it was provided.

April 25, a domestic dispute was called in and it was investigated that nothing physical happened and neither party wanted to pursue charges.

April 25, a call was received of people arguing on Buffalo Street, the officer arrived and he spoke with the resident. There had been an argument, but nothing physical and the other person had left.

April 26, a vehicle was stopped at the intersection of Canal and Erie Streets. The driver was cited for a stop sign violation, driving under suspension, and the operator did not have insurance on the vehicle. The driver was cited in Mayor’s court.

April 26, a report was made with the police of several older juveniles standing on the picnic tables at Riverside Memorial Veterans Park and attempted to damage the playground equipment. The juveniles were located and transported home to their parents. 

April 27, a resident of Park Avenue Villas called and reported that her former landlord had dumped several bags of trash in front of her apartment door. She requested that no charges be filed and that the landlord be contacted to not bring anymore. The landlord was contacted and stated that the tenant had left several items in the previous apartment and just returning her items.

April 28, a break-in was reported on Buffalo Street. The case was investigated and determined to be a civil matter between a landlord and tenant. 

April 28, a resident on West Canal Street reported that sometime during the night her husband and daughters car had been entered and rummaged through. The only thing found to be missing was loose change.

April 30, a councilman reported a complaint from someone who wanted to be anonymous. A person said they used to enjoy walking through the town park; however, now they are scared to walk through because of all of the drug activity in the park. She told him she was afraid to call the police or get involved. The councilman man was encouraged to tell this person that the only way to crack down is to contact the police. Officers do patrol regularly through the park. 

April 30, received a call from DeKalb County, Indiana. They believed someone had been involved in a home break in. They requested help to locate the individual or the suspect vehicle. The suspect was located in Allen County Indiana.

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